Jeff Ward
Submitted by Jeff Ward on Sat, 09/10/2011 - 00:00

 A good knowledge of hauling systems can come in handy as an alpine climber whether it's for crevasse rescue on a high, glaciated peak.....

Crossing Crevasses on Mt. Rainier

....or rock rescue on a steep rock climb.

rock climbing with North Cascades Mountain Guides

Here is a quick photo tutorial on the basic hauling systems used in improvised mountain rescue.  This tutorial is not meant to replace professional instruction.  It is meant to help people refresh their memory or prepare for an upcoming course.  For more in-depth instruction please check out NCMG's Glacier Travel Training and High Angle Rescue courses.  

2 to 1 hauling system in mountain rescue

 Above is the basic 2 to 1 or "C" system.  This picture shows the "C" pulling on the climbers rope but the "C" could also be dropped to the climber and attached directly to the climbers belay loop.

3 to 1 hauling system

 This is the 3 to 1 or "Z" system.  The advantage of the "Z" system is the ability to add a self-tending ratchet.  In this particular system we have used a Black Diamond Guide ATC.  This type of hands-free belay device is a very secure ratchet but has higher friction than other self-tending ratchets.  Stayed tuned for more in the "How To" series for other techniques and devices used as self-tending ratchets.  

4 to 1 Hauling System in Mountain Rescue

This is actually a "C" system stacked on top of a "C" system.  This type of stacking creates what is called a compound system.  Stacking "C"'s is the most efficient way of gaining mechanical advantage when you take friction into account.  

5 to 1 Hauling System in Mountain Rescue

This 5 to 1 is considered a complex system.  We've show it using a sling to highlight the system but you can also use a portion of the extra rope.  

6 to 1 Hauling System for Mountain Rescue

This 6 to 1 system is a "C" stacked on top of a "Z".  Once again we have used a sling to help illustrate the system but you can also use the extra rope.  This system can also be built as a "Z" stacked on top of a "C" for the same mechanical advantage.

9 to 1 Hauling System for Mountain Rescue

This last system is a 9 to 1 built by stacking a "Z" on top of a "Z".  This gives you quite a bit of mechanical advantage but means you will have to pull a lot of rope through the system to move the climber.

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